Who Needs The Church? #1
Updated: Aug 24
I hope you enjoyed our last two devotional series: “Separated Together” and “Shelter Me in Place”. These devotionals were specifically targeted to where we might be with our current COVID-19 situation. As I was deliberating and praying about what the Lord would have for our next devotional series, I believe the Lord led me to share some thoughts about the Church. I don’t know about you, but I’m really missing worshiping together corporately and fellowshipping with my new church family at Grace. I hope you’re feeling the same. To help me through this devotion, I will be enlisting some assistance from an old Radio Bible Class pamphlet.
As we, Grace Evangelical Church, consider our church (for that matter anyone else who might be reading these devotionals via social media) and what it might look like when we get to gather again in the future, we need to stay focused on the mission that God has called us to. I understand it might not feel like we’ll ever get to come back together for corporate worship, but that day will come eventually. So, to help us prepare for that day, I believe it would be great for us to contemplate this question, “Who needs the church?” for the next several weeks.
The answer to that question depends on several things. Church supporters think everyone needs the church while church naysayers think that no one needs the church. Why is there such a difference of opinion in our world? I believe the main reason for this discrepancy is because people have had a wide variety of experiences with the church and organized religion.
On one hand, some people have had such bad examples of the church that they have good reasons to agree with the Old Testament prophet Malachi in wondering why someone doesn’t just close the doors and put an end to such meaningless ritual:
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you
might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you,
says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your
hand.” Malachi 1:10
There are others, however, who don’t see a need for the church because they don’t understand who the church is for, or who it is meant to help. And sadly, to their detriment, these churches are so unclear about their mission and vision there is good reason why someone might feel this way.
At this time, I have been involved in local church ministry for more than thirty years. Although none of the churches that I’ve served in would fall into either of those categories, sadly, I have personally seen a few churches that exhibit some of these characteristics. This not only breaks my heart for the churches, it breaks my heart for the people who have been affected by these examples.
On the contrary, there are people (like me and hopefully like you), who know the church is for people like all of us.
Scripture for today
“And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared
all that God had done with them, and how He had opened a door of
faith to the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27
For us, we can’t imagine our life without the influence of our local church. We cringe when we think about how different our life would have been if it weren’t for the impact of the Gospel message and the regular teaching from God’s Word that comes through our church. We can’t imagine how we’d cope with life’s disappointments and setbacks without the help of the loving support of our church family. We are so grateful when we can return love to a fellow church member because of our mutual commitment to our Lord. And we rejoice when we see someone’s life changed forever because of trusting Jesus as their Savior and joining the Lord’s family.
It is my prayer that this devotional series will help us at Grace Evangelical Church to see, or remember, who our church was designed to help, what our church was designed to be, and in turn place us in a better position to serve those who need our church.
I want to ask you to really check out each day of this series! I believe the Lord has people for us to reach and He has a mission for us to fulfill!
Prayer for today
Thank you, Lord, for giving us the church and our church.
Help me to consider the people in our community that need You.
Help me to trust You to provide the hope that our world needs as much as ever.
Help me to do my part in our church.
Help me to serve others as You give me opportunities.
Help me begin by reaching out to others who are feeling isolated and alone,
and be an encouragement to them.
In Jesus’ name, amen